A twisted kind of love is in the air for this week for the highly sexual characters of Penny Dreadful. Of course, how could romance exist in this series’ world without a little bit of creepiness and provocation? Some may argue that the pace of the Penny Dreadful series is less than steadfast, but that just adds to the mystery and interesting conclusions. With Above the Vaulted Sky, viewers got a nice build-up for what is to come with some sex scenes added to keep attention up.
Considering that last week’s episode was a jolt to the pulse of the Penny Dreadful series, Above the Vaulted Sky saw the return of the signature moderate moving momentum of plot. Opening with a visit down into the voodoo (fetish) dungeon of Madame Kali, Hecate returned with Vanessa’s hair. It appeared the main protagonist was already busy playing with an eerie doll replica of Sir Malcolm’s estranged wife. Already alluded it previous episodes, it was clear that Kali’s machinations would not end well for Mrs. Malcolm. How Kali was able to retrieve a piece of Mrs. Malcolm’s belongings to make the voodoo doll effective still remains a mystery in plot hole storytelling.
The attention was brought back to Penny Dreadful‘s core group as they licked their wounds from the easy home invasion. Ethan Chandler rounding the group up by comparing his involvement in the slaughter of a Native American tribe to how the witches are infiltrating the group was a new form of motivational speaking. Although the story of mass genocide was less than a moral boost, it seemed to work as the group prepared for war with the occult in their own separate ways. Unfortunately with all the barricading, saging, and praying, Vanessa was still being haunted by the three hound witches as she prayed.
It seemed the only one that was moderately safe from any meddling was the virgin Dr. Frankenstein. Confronted by his creature on why the resurrected bride-to-be was not falling head-over-heels for him, Frankenstein let Caliban engage Lily one-on-one. To no one’s surprise, Lily was less than enthusiastic to sit and chat with the intelligent Caliban and gave him the subtle, yet still hurtful line of “can we just be friends?”.
As daylight broke, the team was free from worry that the witches would attack. Vanessa had a tea date with Frankenstein and his “cousin” Lily. It was pretty obvious to the young heroine that this was more than just a meet and greet of Frankenstein’s relative from the country. Ms. Ives could tell that the young doctor was falling for his blond-haired companion and it was a cute Penny Dreadful moment.
Mr. Chandler even had another unexpected day-date during this episode. He finally got a chance to meet the ambitious detective that suspects foul play in the bar tavern murder. The detective seemed to have clearly been stalking Mr. Chandler for some time and Ethan was not in the most cooperative mood during his questioning of the murders from last season. It was clear the detective was on to him, but without any solid evidence linking him to the murders, the dialogue ended in a stalemate.
Looks like everyone was having a pleasant day, except for Frankenstein’s rejected creature. Found in the free-soup tunnels of London, Vanessa came across Caliban sulking about his recent denial of his revived bride. It was a beautiful moment to see Vanessa comfort the creature, even teaching him how to dance, and he dialogue between the two is always a refreshing watch. Hopefully, he does not find out about Frankenstein and his intended’s stormy night rendezvous that took place later in the Penny Dreadful episode.
Nighttime fell on the Victorian city, but the date nights continued. Viewers caught up with Dorian Grey and Sir Malcolm as both took out their respective love interests to a romantic opera. The evening would have been perfect for the couple, if Dorian’s Angelique did not come across one of her less than satisfied clients. With a brief exchange of insults and a spit to the face, the two left. Later at Grey’s estate, viewers got a chance to see Angelique dressed in Grey’s ill-fitting gentleman clothes. The moment was sad, but also romantic as it showed Dorian’s growing affections for Angelique. Claiming that he only cared about the internal, rather than her exterior, the two eventually embraced and gave a very graphic depiction of what goes on behind closed doors.
In direct contrast, Madame Kali’s advances for Sir Malcolm finally paid off as the two eventually embraced in a hotel room. Like any estranged husband who has cheated on his wife in the past, Malcolm could not contain his desire for Kali any longer. Even after she pricked him with one of her many switch-blade rings, Malcolm just wanted more. It is unclear on whether he continued pricking of him was to keep him under her spell or continue his wife’s hallucinations. The two got it on during the stormy night, while Malcolm’s wife was haunted by visions of her Walking Dead children. The scene did not end well for his wife as she eventually committed suicide to stop the pain.
All in all, Penny Dreadful: Above the Vaulted Sky was an enticing watch. Even with the long vivid speech about not being infiltrated, Sir Malcolm’s hormones may have ruined those plans. Full of plot development and a break of sexual tension, the coming episode looks as though it may continue the same momentum of storytelling that Penny Dreadful is known for-slow build-up with little moments of gothic-gold. Hopefully, the Penny Dreadful cast will figure out that Kali is not who she appears, before it is too late.
Opinion By Tyler Cole
IGN: PENNY DREADFUL: “ABOVE THE VAULTED SKY” REVIEW